Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nevada City City Council last night - disaster dry run, garbage, water rates, warming center, beautification

Just quick (and likely flawed; please report an error ReportAnError ) notes on the Wed. Oct 12 Nevada City City Council meeting (parts of which have been reported by Christopher Rosacker (on warming center - NC Council moves forward with homeless cold shelter ) and Jeff Pelline ( Water rates: The new elephant in the corner in Nevada City )).

The other topics addressed (before the 9pm break; I didn't stay after) : learning from lapses exposed by our disaster dry run, the Miners Foundry gas leak; Nevada City's approved-but-for-the-details 15 year Waste Management garbage service contract & its restrictions on residents; and city beautification projects.

(The meetings are streamed live; you'll be able to watch it again soon here, or watch it replayed on NCTV (link to schedule is at bottom of this page. For late-night entertainment, watch the "beautification" segment before the 9pm break, on discussion of proposal to put rolling planters with trees in Robinson Plaza, and on the general issue of adding shade trees to Nevada City. A strange exchange.)

Meeting was well attended, with an unknown (but apparently nonzero) number of watchers from offsite.

Disaster dry run lapses exposed. This topic should be a story for the Nevada City Advocate.

Driver had hit an exposed & unprotected gas meter outside the Miners Foundry, during an event, the evening of Sept 17 (link), people evacuated for blocks around, including KVMR across the street. Problems: Hazard could have been identified & fixed ahead of time. Response time to get a PGE guy to quell it was 40? 70? minutes; for someone to drive up from Rocklin. Law enforcement standing around, saying a) you must evacuate but b) we're engaged here & can't help disabled/elderly/carless people evacuate? County's reverse-911 not able to call just a several-block area to instruct evacuation?

"No one wants another San Bruno; this was a major accident waiting to happen."

"PGE lapse, people go on vacations etc..."
"PGE should plan" for these vacations etc and have backup available.
Duane: Inventory of exposed gas meters?
PGE should inspect for exposed hazards like this so accidents can be prevented.
Robert: PGE should take responsibility for protecting their interests
Bill F: this has only happened once before.
Duane: yes; outside my shop.
Reverse-911 workaround - could have called whole city, & just said "if you're w/in x blocks of Foundry, evacuate to Rood"

Proposed warming center (extending coverage in The Union) -
* Jeff Brown (Health & Human Services) & Alison Lehman (Department of Social Services) spoke to council; Alison emphasized that we should avail ourselves of expertise on this issue, particularly the Salvation Army (these are people who society has given up on, and S.A. Major Martha Sheppard emphasized, "Salvation Army is not in the business of giving up on people") and best practices from other such centers, elsewhere & locally.
* Hospitality House wasn't always zero-tolerance for substances, this policy evolved with experience. They have experience.
* Handling people with dogs - trying to separate person from dog doesn't work. M.S. - a great good suggestion was to have on hand a set of 5 or so microhouses, maybe slightly larger (than 4x8), for people to sleep in with pets.
* A number of incidents, during the 2 nights in March when the Nevada City had a warming center open last year.
* What happens during the day, when it's still cold/snowing? Can they stay?
* Best to have >1 potential site, since if the power is out in one area, can use another.
* The vets hall has events scheduled, 16 eves in October alone. But if weather's severe (enough), events are cancelled, so this could solve itself.
* City of GV, can you coordinate with us on meeting this need? (JB(?): GV is very helpful & involved in working with HH)
* [RS?:] there's been discussion of forming a land trust for finding/acquiring land to [micro?]house the homeless. ... ("Archi's acres" came up)

I didn't see a consensus on how to move forward, just that we needed to.

New Waste Management contract:
NevCity council agreed to it already, all but the details.
(Readers - can someone tell me whether it mandates that residents get: a) normal service? b) green waste service? )
Qs re contract, on whether it'll outlaw guys (or neighbor's kid) with pickups who'll do your dump runs. (City manager must approve exceptions? Comment: wtf? new layer...)
(Conley: when City Council instigated green waste service, it was to serve the customers, to give them a choice they didn't have, not to make them use it. Sally: I'm comfortable with this, it's a great deal for the residents of Nevada City. Robert: details of contract matter; pay attn to them now so they don't blow up later.)

Nevada City beautification projects & proposals
Just go watch it...

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